The spring planting begins!

Easter is the ideal time to get planting.  Here at 40plusandalliswell we reckon Easter marks potato planting time so we have planted the first and second earlies (Pentland javelin and Kestral varieties). Please see 'Organic gardening update: Spring planting four (guest post)' for how to go about this.

We are also planting some more basil. If you would like to grow this herb too, you can sow it in April in pots of moist compost - about 5 in a medium pot.  Cover lightly with compost and keep in a warm place (either on a sunny kitchen windowsill or in a greenhouse). Keep moist - if you have them on a kitchen windowsill you need to put a plastic saucer under the plant pot). We like to sow basil little and often because we love this versatile herb which can be uses in pesto and complements tomatoes beautifully. We want to grow more herbs this year so watch out for another post on this. 

Planting the basil seed

This way of sowing little and often is known as successional sowing. We are also doing this with the corn salad (Lamb's lettuce) that we are growing because if you were to sow all the seeds at once you would get more salad than you can eat - this way you can have fresh salad throughout the summer.  The method is suitable for all salad leaves. Quick growing crops such as French beans, peas, and spinach also can be grown in this way.  It is ideal too for plants that have a tendency to bolt (go to flower and seed) such as broccoli and coriander.  

We wanted to try growing squash this year - a first for 40plusandalliswell.  We have chosen Crown Prince squash for two reasons - we really like eating it (a good reason!! It has orange flesh and a sweet nutty flavour) and we know it grows well where we live because people bring it to the harvest service in autumn.  If you are unsure what to grow where you are, it is a good idea to check out what others are growing.  We have planted one seed in each small pot - plant the seed on its side.  The soil needs to be kept warm so start them off in a greenhouse ideally in peat pots for transplanting or wait a little while and sow directly outdoors.  

Planting the squash

Planting the squash

Last year we had sweet pea flowers all through the summer to brighten the house so we are keen to grow some more this year - we are growing varieties that will give us white, red and blue flowers so that we can have several colour combinations. We have started them off in the greenhouse in pots covered with cling film and already we are seeing shoots popping up. When they grow more we will transplant them around a wigwam which is made of canes tied together (more on this to come).

Happy Easter gardening!

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